Electro-Voice ZLX-12P Two-Way Powered Loudspeaker
With a thousand watts via Class D amplification— the current standard for pro-grade full-range portable PA enclosures—EV hits the market with an impressively built and well-featured 12-inch model in the new ZLX-12P.

Having reviewed a previous 1000 W/Class D ZLX model from Electro-Voice, expectations were already high for the new ZLX-12P, an approximately 35 lbs., powered two-way featuring a 12-inch woofer and 1.5-inch high-frequency titanium compression driver, with a rated frequency response of 65 Hz to 18 kHz, delivering 126 dB maximum SPL. In application, I found this ZLX to be the best yet—with super-simple DSP built-in, accessible from a rear panel push/ rotary knob and LCD display, while comprehensive I/O and build quality closely resemble strengths within EV’s pro touring gear. Best of all, the ZLX-12P is available now at $399 street, each.

Finally, the obligatory polemount came with strip-resistant brass threads, another indication that EV truly understands gigging with portable PAs; too often, I see corners cut here.

I swapped the ZLX-12P pair into my normal gig rig for a couple of weekend club dates, handling main house duties while paired with a smallish 600 W powered subwoofer— a standard I’ve found works ideally with this particular venue and four-piece rock band. The PA handled a relatively low input setup: vocals, guitars, kick and snare/hi-hat mic. First impressions came quick; during soundcheck for the first date, the guitarist—unprompted while standing out front—commented how “full” and “open” the ZLX-12P pair sounded. I agreed.

A week later, I employed a single ZLX-12P on a very simple singer/ songwriter coffeehouse gig, where vocalists used only the EV’s built-in mixer with a mic (the great feedback-resistant Electro-Voice PL80a supercardioid, my favorite affordable handheld dynamic) and a DI input. Placed horizontal, the ZLX-12P impressively served as both foldback monitor and a main with a full, small room-filling sound. One performer sang to prerecorded material, thanks to the EV’s Aux In feature (and the performer’s iPhone). In this application, the ZLX-12P’s feature set allowed it to be the only “live gear” on the stage—clean, impressive and efficient.

Electro-Voice further bolsters its reputation in the portable PA market with the ZLX-12P. For the money, it’s hard to beat.